So in my last entry I discussed how I believed that the geeks were still fighting a war against the non-geeks over the experience that should be provided by an MMORPG. That topic got me to thinking though...
It goes way deeper than just that.
I think that the real war being fought is the same war that is being fought in a variety of different places in business right now, which is the war between the business major and the liberal artist.
You might have heard it on the news lately that a lot of liberal arts colleges have been suffering from low enrollment numbers due to the lack of good jobs available for a liberal arts major in business world right now.
I have to ask you though, how does that happen?
How does the guy who creates the thing that another guy makes money off of end up on the outs while the guy whose only training is how to make money of of other people's creations ends up dominating the world? Have we run out of good ideas?
Let's be clear here, a business majors only purpose in life is to run a business for a profit. The various degrees and certificates that can be earned in business school are all geared towards that end, and the highest degrees that one can attain in that branch of education exist only to manage and run the lower levels. The liberal arts major has absolutely nothing to do with all of that save that they are supposed to be the providers of the ideas that spark these companies into existence.
How then does a business major end up being the final word on what is beautiful?
I dare say that a business major would not even let something beautiful be seen in order to be verified as such unless they were charging you exorbitant prices just to come to the conclusion. So I ask you again, how does a game that has been based on the imagination of a group of highly skilled liberal artists end up being torn apart and reduced to shreds by decisions made by a business major?
Did you guys forget what you were supposed to be doing or something?
Kallipolis is ruled by Philosopher Kings not Soldiers.
"A true pilot must of necessity pay attention to the seasons, the heavens, the stars, the winds, and everything proper to the craft if he is really to rule a ship" - Plato's Republic
And yet it seems that our Philosopher Kings have somehow fallen under the yoke of paying the rent, buying the wife a phat ring, making sure that the kids don't have to go to school with other kids that the kings don't like, instead of taking on the role of the creator and sole authority on how their creation should be presented.
I mean yeah, this is not new. Edgar Allen Poe died in the gutter. It has been a long romanticized story of the artist that they are never appreciated until after such appreciation would no longer serve them, but seriously.....really?
In the great long list of games that populate the games list of this website can we not find more than 3 or 4 products that actually got it right?
How is that even possible?
No, there are a great number of games on that list have have had some great ideas. There's a lot of great art, a lot of great storytelling, and even a fair amount of decent gameplay. But what more of them have in common than not is a blatant reconfiguration of their initial vision by soldiers whose only intention was to sap the most dollars, at the highest rates, out of their existence as possible.
Some were even created with nothing more than this in mind.
Meanwhile the masses are loosing faith in their philosopher kings. We no longer believe that they are cool enough to try to emulate, nor do we believe that they are even kings anymore. We now see them as something that we can talk to on our level (as if). Someone that we can call by their first name and spit obscenities at because they didn't create a flower the exact way that we though a flower should be created.
Are you kidding me?
I want to be taken on a ride!
Not only do I not need to feel superior right out of the gate, but I would prefer to feel completely freaking lost! Others will say that they do not prefer this, but I am willing to stand up right now, right here, and in plain sight and say that THEY ARE WRONG.
A child can never tell an adult what it feels like to be an adult. Every adult can tell a child what it feels like to be a child. Therefore it is ridiculous to allow a child to rule over an adult ever. What they think is unfair, we know is necessary. What they think is cool we know is dangerous to their survival.
What they think tastes bad we know requires a cultivated palette.
And so the idea that we must stay in first grade in order to get all the milk money that these kids have to offer, instead of continuing to progress towards a better tomorrow is ridiculous.
Apply this theory to what you may, but I know what I am talking about.
In my understanding, if there is a business major making the final call on concepts like whether your game goes with the easymode concept or whether your game goes with the more difficult concept, if there is a business major making the final call on whether you go subscriber or free to play, how much you will ultimately charge or what you will ultimately end up charging for...
You are screwing up!
The business majors should be giving you the numbers you need in order to make the final call on these and other complicated decisions. In this they are of the utmost importance and I do not suggest that you attempt to completely cut them out of the picture because that is, after all, what they were trained to do. But YOU are the creator of this thing of beauty, and only YOU can complete that creation by acknowledging that presentation is just a big a part of art as getting to get your hands all messy with pretty colors and whatnot.
The Liberal Artist must rise and take their proper place in business!!
This has been a public service announcement.